Bhopal survivors ask directors of Dow chemical & Dupont to share information on bhopal liabilities with their shareholders

Press Conference

July 20, 2016

(Hindi press release available below)

At a press conference today, leaders of five organisations of survivors of the Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal charged the directors of Dow Chemical and DuPont with unlawfully withholding information from their shareholders on the liabilities of Bhopal. They said that shareholders of both the corporations will be voting on the proposal of merger between the two companies today.

“Legally, company directors are duty bound to disclose all facts that are material to the stockholders’ consideration of a transaction. But DuPont shareholders have been kept in the dark about the criminal, civil and environmental liabilities of the Bhopal disaster that Dow Chemical has inherited through taking over Union Carbide.” said Rashida Bee, President of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationary Karmchari Sangh.

Balkrishna Namdeo, President of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pensionbhogee Sangharsh Morcha said “We have sent a letter with the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal to the Board of Directors of the two companies detailing the Bhopal related liabilities of Dow Chemical. We have asked that the information be shared with the shareholders before they vote on the merger as is required by law.”

Nawab Khan of Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha said that shareholders of Dow Chemical had not been informed of the liabilities of Union Carbide that they inherited. “As a consequence of its merger with Union Carbide, between 2008 and 2016 Dow Chemical has suffered business losses estimated at 300 million dollars in India and has failed to invest 5 billion dollars by 2015 as it had planned.” he said.

The organizations reported that their American supporters will be holding demonstrations outside the shareholders meeting at Dow Chemical. “Our supporters will also be raising questions regarding Dow’s Bhopal disaster related liabilities inside the shareholders’ meeting at Midland, Michigan today” said Rachna Dhingra of the Bhopal Group for Information and Action.

Safreen Khan of Children Against Dow Carbide expressed hope that the US Securities & Exchange Commission would take note of the illegalities in the Dow – DuPont merger and deny approval for the same.

Rashida Bi, Nawab Khan, Balkrishna Namdeo, Satinath Sarangi, Rachna Dhingra, Safreen Khan,
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pensionbhogi Sangharsh Morcha Bhopal Group for Information and Action Children Against Dow Carbide
94256 88215 8718035409 9826345423 9826167369

Read the press release in Hindi here: हिन्दी प्रेस विज्ञप्ति

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Bhopal organisation moves for ex-parte trial proceedings against Dow Chemical

Press Statement
13 July 2016

Leaders of all the organisations of survivors of the Union Carbide Disaster in Bhopal today condemned the governments of both India and USA for the non appearance of any representative of Dow Chemical Company in the ongoing criminal case on the disaster.  At the hearing in the District Court, counsel for Bhopal Group for Information & Action (BGIA), a local NGO assisting the Prosecution sought ex – parte trial proceedings against the American company before the judicial magistrate hearing the matter.

“The Indian Criminal Procedure Code expressly provides for ex-parte proceedings against a defendant in a criminal trial that ignores notices of the court.” said Avi Singh a lawyer in Delhi High Court volunteering his services for the Bhopal justice campaign. In court Mr. Singh pointed out that Dow Chemical has publicly admitted their knowledge of the four consecutive notices issued by the Bhopal Court and it is evident on the corporate website. He expressed hope that the Judicial Magistrate who heard the NGO’s application would direct harsher measures against Dow Chemical at the next hearing scheduled for August 6, 2016.

“In the last two years Dow Chemical has thrice ignored the court’s notice and all that the Indian government has done is send one meek request after another and not utter a word on the violation of the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) in not serving the notice on Dow Chemical” said Rachna Dhingra of BGIA. It was submitted that the CBI is deliberately shielding the Accused.

Bhopal survivors’ organisations had collected over one hundred thousand signatures on a petition demanding that the US DoJ serve Bhopal Court’s notice on Dow Chemical as per the terms of the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty signed between India and USA in 1991. As per the terms of the petition on Whitehouse.gov website the US government is obligated to respond to charges of violation of MLAT by the US DoJ.

Satinath Sarangi of BGIA charged the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) with deliberate foot dragging, an allegation noted by the Magistrate in his order sheet. ” CBI’s dilatory moves are apparent in what they have presented in court today, he said, as per CBI’s own submission in court, the notice to Dow Chemical was sent  in February this year and the reminder was sent in June only after the letter of five Bhopal survivors’ organisations to the Prime Minister on this matter on June 14.”

The five survivors organisations: Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh, Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha, Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pensionbhogi Sangharsh Morcha, Bhopal Group for Information and Action and Children Against Dow Carbide had sought the Prime Minister’s directions to the CBI, an agency directly under him, to seek harsher measures against Dow Chemical for its utter contempt  of the law of India where it carries out business through at least five subsidiaries and joint ventures.

Further, BGIA sought start of trial proceeding in the underlying criminal cases, in suspended animation for a quarter of a century, asserting that if UCC/Dow chose not to participate, the Court may proceed ex parte on the basis of the evidence already adduced in the case against the Indian accused.

Satinath Sarangi & Rachna Dhingra

 

Bhopal Group for Information & Action

9826167369

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Media Coverage of the Bhopal White House Petition

Below are links to recent media coverage of the Bhopalis’ White House petition and the supportive music video by Sofia Ashraf:

http://www.thequint.com/world/2016/06/13/bhopal-gas-tragedy-white-house-petition-dow-chemical-petition-against-over-one-lakh-signatures-barack-obama

http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/petition-calls-on-white-house-to-hold-dow-accountable-for-bhopal-leak-1418299

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/bhopal-tragedy-over-100-000-signatures-against-dow-chemical-us-govt-compelled-to-give-formal-response/1/691033.html

Continue reading Media Coverage of the Bhopal White House Petition

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Letter to PM Modi: Instruct CBI to Take Harsher Measures Against Dow

To Honourable Prime Minister

152, South Block, Raisina Hill, New Delhi-110011

14 June 2016

Sub: Instruct CBI to take harsher measures against The Dow Chemical Company (TDCC) in the ongoing criminal matter (MJC 91/92) on Bhopal disaster

Dear Mr. Prime Minister,

On behalf of the survivors of the 1984 Union Carbide gas disaster in Bhopal we wish to share with you the good news that due to the initiative of the survivors and support from the international community it has been possible for us to collect within 30 days, 100, 000 signatures on a petition to the US President demanding that the US Department of Justice serve the Bhopal District Court’s notice upon The Dow Chemical Company (TDCC), USA so that it appears in the ongoing criminal case on the disaster on July 13, 2016. As per the order of the Bhopal court, TDCC is expected to explain to the court why it has not made its 100 % subsidiary Union Carbide Corporation appear in the ongoing criminal case on the Bhopal disaster.

Continue reading Letter to PM Modi: Instruct CBI to Take Harsher Measures Against Dow

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Press Release: Victory! Goal of 100,000 Signatures on White House Petition Met

Press Conference
June 14, 2016

Leaders of five organisations of survivors of the Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal today announced the successful completion of the petition to the US Whitehouse in the matter of the criminal case on the disaster. The leaders are hopeful that in the process of responding to the petition the US Department of Justice will serve the Bhopal District Court’s notice on Union Carbide’s owner Dow Chemical so that it appears in the criminal case on July 13. The organisations said that they have sent a letter to the Prime Minister seeking directions to the prosecution, Central Bureau of Investigation to call for harsher measures against Dow Chemical if it fails to appear on July 13.

Continue reading Press Release: Victory! Goal of 100,000 Signatures on White House Petition Met

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